Safety In Iran

November 5, 2015
Peter Santenello in Iran

As an American, most of us grew up with the concept of this great guy called Santa Claus. Santa was awesome because he got us excited and brought us gifts once a year.

Roughly around the age of 8-10 or so, the people we trusted in our lives let us in on a little secret… Santa was a made-up hoax.

They justified this lie because we were growing up and had to know the truth—like a right of passage to maturing….   And what child doesn’t want to hear that they’re stepping closer to being a big kid?

It would be quite bizarre if a 40-year-old still believed in Santa… most likely they would have some serious developmental issues. No sane adult would get excited about a big bearded guy coming down the chimney to deliver presents once a year.

So here’s the kicker…

Believing that Iran is a dangerous country to travel in is about as silly as a 40-year-old believing in Santa Claus.

American and his Iranian friends

It’s not anybody’s fault though.  Nobody was there to tell us it was any different when we matured. Actually those “trustworthy” authorities—the media, and politicians—have done quite the opposite and have kept the story going.

Even if this isn’t their intended purpose, the effect of this one-sided message has penetrated our consciousness, and more effectively our subconscious into believing in this fallacy.

Of course, things happen, and Iranians are part of the human race. There is a small part of the country near the Pakistani border that the government doesn’t have nailed down that is riskier.

Sure you can get yourself in trouble here if you step out of line with the clearly marked societal rules.

But if you just want to travel as a tourist through a stunning country full of friendly people, it’s easy and peaceful.


I can guarantee you that a beheading won’t happen here—a warning I heard from a few people before I left home—and the actual risk of someone mugging you or stealing your wallet is very low.

Iran is safer to travel than France, Spain, or the U.S.A.  Not to mention places like Argentina or Brazil where it’s not even a comparison.

I thought I had some cojones by coming to Iran. Actually, it takes no brevity or courage to visit Iran as a tourist. The only brevity and courage comes through questioning and overcoming the programming that you’ve received up until this point of your life, and being open-minded to the reality on the ground.

Call Iran whatever you want. You might disagree with the hijab or its paranoid and radical government, but the fact is that Iran is not a dangerous place to travel.

And for those who still believe… Santa isn’t real.

Desert in Iran

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